As we head into the summer, my thoughts go back to last summer and what a mess it was because of the pandemic.  We struggled on almost a daily basis to determine whether we open the beaches, restrict them to active uses only, close them altogether, close the parking lots, etc.  In addition, we debated about whether it was better to get out in the sunshine or cloister in homes, whether we should open or close launch ramps, parks, tennis courts, playgrounds and even the Harbor itself.  It is great that those times are behind us and we seem to be heading in the right direction as the orange tier is probable this week.  We had our first relatively warm weather this week, and it was great to see increased beach and boating activity.

Not too much to report this month on the development front.  Staff is working diligently with the developer of the Hyatt House Hotel project, and I know we are all anxious to see the demolition start by the end of this year, as the developer has assured us.

We are still working on the Harbor Visioning report, and it seems as if most the people I talk to tell me they viewed the workshop and are excited about the different development possibilities at the Harbor.  I know there are some people who believe we should update the Harbor Public Works Plan before proceeding with any more development.  It should be noted that the process to update this planning/zoning document will take many years and millions of dollars.

I am hoping we can identify a way to expedite quality development in the Harbor.  I have been here just over two years and I am as tired as anyone of looking at those areas of the Harbor in dire need of development.

As I stressed last month, let’s all work together to control this pandemic so we can continue to see some normalcy in and around the Harbor.

As always, live every day to the fullest.

Mark Sandoval, Harbor Director
Ventura County Harbor Department

Editor’s Note: this story was published on April 12, 2021.